Graphic design is the process of using a combination of media and elements to convey information in a visual form. You can also refer to graphic design as the study of design elements to create images that influence the viewer. Graphic design is a process, research and a result.
You’ll find elements and final forms of graphic design in books, magazines, architectural plans, museum displays, NFTs, websites, apps and visual identification systems. You use graphic design products to navigate the world because it is everywhere we look, from advertisements to the product we use in our everyday lives.
A graphic designer is a person who creates visual content to pass messages. They are responsible for designing logos, animation, infographics, posters, software interfaces and even business cards. Graphic designers consider graphical and textual elements when developing any media. Their main aim is to connect to the consumer, and because graphic design is linked to advertisements and marketing, you’ll find a graphic designer in every sector.
If you live in Nebraska, have a flair for art and design and are considering a career in graphic design, there are many programs you could take in a NASAD (National Association of Schools of Arts and Design) accredited school.
To become a graphic designer in Nebraska, you begin your journey by going to a college with a graphic design program. Each school has its specific requirements, so you must check them before applying. Some schools may award you an Associate of Applied Science degree, BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), while others may award a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree.
To get into most of these schools, you need a portfolio containing all the best graphic design jobs you have done. Typically, your school of choice has requirements on how the portfolio should look, so do well to follow their instructions.
To stand out in your application, it’s good to have some level of experience. You can learn from a graphic designer in a studio or intern at an advertising agency to teach you the basics.
Also, for self-improvement, you can take graphic design courses on Udacity, Udemy and Skillshare. It’s important to have a good mastery of graphic design software such as Inkscape, CorelDRAW, Adobe Photoshop and GIMP, to name a few. Learning to use these programs gives you an edge when applying. So by the time you graduate from school, you have mastered most of them.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Lincoln, NE
At the University of Nebraska, you learn how to integrate creativity with visual communication to create various print and digital products. You can either get a BA or BFA degree in graphic design. For both of these degrees, you need to have a solid foundation in art and design.
To get a BA, you have to do half of your foundation coursework in another study area. However, for BFA, you get additional experience in graphic design and other related studio art areas. Unlike BA, BFA has 70 percent of its courses in graphic design. The BFA program is tailored more to those who want to pursue a career in design.
To get into the BFA or BA graphic design, you must already be admitted to the school. The requirements for admission are a minimum ACT of 20 and SAT score of 950. Also, you have to rank in the top half of your graduating class. Tuition for this school is $9,690 for residents and $26,820 for non-residents.
Creighton University – Omaha, NE
Students at Creighton University who pursue a program in Bachelor of Arts in graphic design and film receive a well-rounded education in design. You learn video and still photography, typography and animation. Also, you learn the writing and analytical skills necessary for pursuing a graduate degree in related graphic design fields.
You also learn advanced animation, interactive design, and web design courses. These courses give you specialized skills that give you an edge in the job market. Admission to Creighton University is based on high school GPA, ACT or SAT scores, a personal essay, letter of recommendation from your high school counselor. The tuition for the school is $43,018. For more information about this degree and to start an application, click here.
Wayne State College – Wayne, NE
The graphic design program at Wayne State College teaches you to use words and images to inform, persuade and educate. The main objective here is to enable students to become responsible and innovative designers. The coursework focuses on the problem-solving nature of the graphic design. So, when you graduate, you are prepared to tackle a variety of career opportunities in publication, exhibition and user experience design.
While you are still enrolled at Wayne State, you have the opportunity to intern in places such as Amazon, Career Now Brands, Hour Detroit Imagination and Macmillan Publishing. Your coursework includes:
- Principles of Graphic Designer
- Web design
- Information Design
- Type Design and more
Tuition at Wayne State College is about $7,618 (both residents and non-residents) per year for the four years in the school. When you graduate, you get a BA in graphic design.
Northeast Community College – Norfolk, NE
The graphic design program at the Northeast Community College prepares you for work in the electronic and film media in different areas such as type, illustration, photography and animation. You also learn the foundation of designs from instructors who have years of experience in graphic design.
While at this school, your coursework focuses on technical skills rather than theoretical ones. You can gain hands-on experience by working on class projects and interning with businesses in the area. After completing the program, you get an Associate of Applied Science degree, making you eligible for a four-year program. For residents of Nebraska, your tuition is $108 per credit hour, and for non-residents, it is $151 per credit hour.
Bellevue University – Bellevue, NE
The graphic design program at Bellevue University is 100% online. It is designed to teach you to apply critical thinking skills to solve visual problems. While at this school, you master visual communication and learn how to use industry-standard software and hardware tools to apply proper product methods in web and print design.
Graphic design students at Bellevue University learn how to use the adobe creative software suite, which is a widely used design software application. They also learn typography, color composition, principles of illustration and photography. To graduate, you have to complete 127 total credits, consisting of general education courses that build your critical and qualitative reasoning skills. If you have an associate degree, you can transfer your credits to this school, finish faster, and graduate with a BA degree. The program costs $435 per credit and $250 for military members on active duty and their spouses. To apply for this program, go here.
Salary and Outlook for Graphic Designers in Nebraska
The salary of graphic designers in Nebraska is an average of $52,170 per year. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this amount is lower than the national average, which is $59,970. However, your pay as a graphic designer is affected by many factors such as type of job, city of residence and years of experience.
For instance, after up to two years of experience, you can earn $53,026 in a year, and after ten years, you can earn up to $71,888 per year. The company you work for also has an effect on your salary. In AT&T, you can earn $98,261 in a year, and in Control4, up to $111,000 per annum.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Nebraska
The job market for graphic designers in Nebraska is a free one. You can freelance or work in a company such as an Ad agency or in-house graphic designer. As a graphic designer, it helps to get extra certifications to improve yourself and your value in the job market. Learn to identify trends and use them to your advantage. For instance, you can try and enter the NFT space or learn UI/UX design.
Below are a few job listings available for graphic designers in Nebraska. These listings give you an idea of where you can work and what you can earn.
- Graphic Design, Nebraska Public Power Plant District, Columbus, $4,516 to $5,645 per month
- Graphic Designer, Pearson, Lincoln, $50,000 per year
- Graphic Designer, Nebraska State College System, Wayne, $41,254 to $51,567
- Graphic Designer, Lincoln Berean Church, Lincoln, $35,400 to $44,800
- Graphic Designer, Buildertrend, Omaha, $51,200 to $64,800
- Graphic Artist/Designer, Nebraska Methodist Health, Omaha, $35,800 to $45,400
- Graphic Designer, Haberfeld, Lincoln, $59,600 to $75,400
- Graphic Design, Bosselman Administrative Services, Grand Island, $37,500 to $47,500
- Graphic Designer, Ho-Chunk, Bellevue, $31,000 to $39,200
- Graphic Designer, Elman Print, Omaha, $17 – $22 per hour